Sustainability in recent years has become a hot topic for all boardroom discussions across the globe. Whether it’s a large organization or an SME, businesses across all verticals are either already in the process of investing or looking for methods that assist them in achieving their sustainability goal.
In the backdrop of this ongoing trend, the printing industry as well has changed its way of working. There are multiple areas where businesses can make changes and ensure they are on the right path toward achieving their sustainability target. Whether it is wastage, carbon footprint, or the type of materials, organisations in this segment use – these all can be reduced so that the firm can operate in a more environment-friendly way. One of the most crucial and underrated areas/components in any organisation is its printer.
Even though the majority of businesses in the post-pandemic times have already digitalised their large chunk of operations, printers continue to play a vital role in their smooth functioning. In 2021, the value of the print industry across India was over 225 billion rupees, and the report suggests that the numbers will exceed 250 billion rupees by 2024. However, the industry will still take some time to reach the pre-pandemic levels, i.e., 296 billion rupees in 2019.
The positive outlook brings a wave of relief and positivity to all participants in the printing industry. However, there still looms a threat, especially from the sustainability angle. So, how can the industry overcome the rapidly evolving scenario? The answer lies in making printing eco-friendly.
One of the ways to achieve it is by using materials that are produced from renewable energy. This primarily includes paper produced from sustainable forestry practices and inks that are made from plant-based material. Additionally, using recycled paper can greatly cut down the environmental impact of printing, as it minimises the need for virgin materials and the energy required to produce them.
Additionally, using sustainable materials and digital printing can also reduce their overall environmental impact. For instance, companies can use digital printing methods, such as online printing services and document management software, to trim down the amount of paper they use. It is worth mentioning that some of the leading Print Service Providers (PSPs) are finding solutions and technologies that support the printing/graphics industry as it shifts to a more sustainable future.
Today, digital printing uses inkjet or toner-based printing technology to produce a wide range of high-quality prints with a minimal environmental impact. This is because digital printing does not require the use of traditional printing plates, which can generate a large amount of waste. Additionally, digital printing uses less energy than traditional offset printing, which results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Another non-conventional printing method used by PSPs and print converters is variable data printing (VDP). It enables businesses to provide personalization of each printed piece, which can be beneficial in reducing the amount of waste generated during the printing process. With the presence of VDP and digital printing, PSPs today are positioned better to provide tailored assistance to the customer, which automatically slashes the need for reprints or discarded materials.
Finally, assisting environmentalists and governments in reducing carbon emissions is the need of the hour. The printing industry can take the rising global temperature as a nature’s slap on the wrist. Therefore, it is imperative to bring boardroom conversations and targets into reality. The big question remains, from where to start? Businesses in the space can begin by encouraging their employees and peers to recycle paper, cardboard, and other office waste. Using sustainable materials, energy-efficient equipment/machine, and sustainable printing practices can help to minimize the environmental impact of printing while also reducing costs and improving efficiency. By working together, the industry can create a difference, making the future of the printing industry more sustainable.
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